Jones v. Corizon, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 17 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Defendant Dale Glass motion is GRANTED.. Signed by District Judge Rodney W. Sippel on 9/30/15. (LGK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CORIZON, LLC, et al.,
Case No. 4:15 CV 346 RWS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Jennifer Jones' son (Decedent Jones) was arrested on outstanding warrants
and incarcerated at the St. Louis City Justice Center. Five days after his arrest, Decedent
Jones died in his cell from a staph infection. Ms. Jones filed this law suit against several
corrections officers and medical staff members employed at the Justice Center asserting
claims for denial of medical care and wrongful death. Defendant Dale Glass is the
Commissioner of the City of St. Louis Division of Corrections. Ms. Jones' complaint
alleges that Glass was deliberately indifferent to Decedent Jones' medical needs in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment through a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim and also asserts
a claim against Glass for wrongful death. Glass has been sued in his individual capacity.
Glass has moved to dismiss the claims against him under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)( 6) for a failure to state a claim. When ruling on a motion to dismiss, I
must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and view them in light
most favorable to the Plaintiff. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The purpose of a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) is to test the legal sufficiency of the complaint. An action fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiffs factual
allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Id.
Glass argues that the section 1983 claim should be dismissed because the complaint
does not allege that he had any direct knowledge or involvement with the events which led
to Decedent Jones' death.
To state a claim in a section 1983 action, a plaintiff must plead that each
government-official defendant, through the official's own actions, has violated plaintiffs
constitutional rights. Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 978 (8th Cir. 2011). The
complaint in this case does not assert any facts that Glass was aware of Decedent Jones'
illness or that Glass personally provided or failed to provide Decedent Jones with medical
treatment. Glass's general responsibility for supervising the operations of the St. Louis
Department of Corrections is insufficient to establish his personal involvement with the
tragic death of Decedent Jones at the St. Louis City Justice Center. As a result, I will grant
Glass's motion to dismiss the section 1983 claim.
Glass also moves to dismiss Ms. Jones' state law wrongful death claim based on
official immunity. Official immunity shields public officers and state officials from civil
liability for injuries arising out of their discretionary acts, functions, or omissions
performed in the exercise of their official duties. Harris v. Munoz, 43 S.W.3d 384, 387
(Mo. Ct. App. 2001). The wrongful death claim in this case alleges that Defendants failed
to provide adequate health care to Decedent Jones. The complaint does not allege any
specific ministerial duty which Glass failed to perform in connection with Decedent Jones'
death. Glass's official duties as the Commissioner of Corrections such as the general
supervision of employees, supervisory conduct, and policy making are all discretionary
acts covered by the official immunity doctrine. Nguyen v. Grain Valley R-5 School Dist.,
353 S.W.3d 725, 733 (Mo. Ct. App. 2011). As a result, I will grant Glass's motion to
dismiss the wrongful death claim.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Dale Glass's motion to dismiss 
Dated this 30th day of September, 2015.
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